the ebb and flow of beginnings

I started going to therapy again.

Oh my gosh, therapy is so hard. 

Building a new relationship with someone is hard work.

It is the picture perfect example of the both/and: I both love it and I hate it.

I’m still taking my medicine, and I swear by that 5mg of Lexapro. It has been a life raft. Now it’s time to add some oars to paddle my boat out of this vast sea so I can get… somewhere, even if I don’t know where I’m going.

And neither does she. She barely knows me, and yet she says she wants to work with me. Do I want to work with her?

I experienced her as kind and warm and soft and I am terrified that my rage will break her. Terrified that she will deem me Too Much and pack her kindness and leave me.

My friends say that I am brave for beginning again, and with a new person to hold my stories, too. Changing therapists feels like a betrayal to myself and the man I worked with for 3 years who was instrumental in helping me become who I am today. I feel like I have turned my back on him, on the work we did in that room, with the soft leather couch, the window overlooking Pioneer Square, the pillow I would hold in my lap like a shield. The tears shed, the stories shared, the truths that were uncovered, the strength I began to find and to wield all came from that space and from that relationship.

Now, here I am again. Another beginning. A chair this time, no couch. A woman, not a man. No pillow. No window. Still the tears. What will I learn about myself from her? Who will I become in the next months because of her presence and what she brings to the room. What dance shall we create together?

Will she stay when my rage takes up residence in that space? Will she show up the next week, and the next? Will she bring her warmth and softness, and will she bring her anger on my behalf when the time calls for it?

Really, it all comes down to the question: how much hope am I willing to have on my own behalf? How hard am I willing to paddle? And will I allow others to paddle the boat for me when I cannot do it anymore?

As always, I have more questions than answers, and that is a comfort to my soul, even though it makes my

The sea can do craziness, it can do smooth, it can lie down like silk breathing or toss havoc shoreward; it can give gifts or withhold all; it can rise, ebb, froth like an incoming frenzy of fountains, or it can sweet-talk entirely. As I can too, and so, no doubt, can you, and you. 
― Mary OliverA Thousand Mornings




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